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Titanic Wiki

Martin Gallagher (January 18th, 1883 - April 15th, 1912) was a Third Class passenger of the Titanic. He died in the sinking, but best known for saving a few girls' lives.

Early Life[]

Mr. Martin Gallagher was born in the villagr of Currafarry in Co Galway, Ireland on 18 January 1883. He was the son of Patt Gallagher and Catherine Finnerty.

Hailing from a Roman Catholic family of nine children, Martin's siblings were: Mary (b. 15 December 1871), Peter (b. 14 June 1875), Kate (b.30 August 1876), Thomas (b. 29 January 1879), Honor (b. 6 July 1881), Anne (b. 17 December 1885), and Patt (b. 29 October 1888).

Martin emigrated first time to America around 1901 and lived in New York City. He later secured a job in Rye, New York and was described as a coachman and living with his employer, building contractor Thomas Steen and his family at Boston Post Road, Rye. He returned to Ireland to visit his family around late 1911 or early 1912.

On the Titanic[]

After visiting his family, he purchased his return ticket onboard the RMS Titanic, as a third class passenger. He boarded the Titanic at Queenstown (ticket number of 36864, £7, 14s, 10d). He travelling onboard with his fiancé, Margaret Mannion. Thomas Kilgannon, Thomas Smyth, and Ellen Mary Mockler were all from the parish of Caltra and were persuaded to come to America by Martin.

At the time after the Titanic has struck an iceberg, he escorted Margaret Mannion and Ellen Mockler and took them into Lifeboat 16. He also helped Mary Agatha Glynn, Julia Smyth, Kate Connolly and Margaret McGovern towards Lifeboat 13. According to Kate Gilnagh's testimony, there is an unidentified man who helped her and several others Irish girls when they were lost and ended up in the Second Class area, the man helped them onto the boat deck above by asking them to climb onto his shoulders holding the railing for support. Both of the girls survived but were unable to identify theur saviour. Kate believe that the man is Martin Gallagher.

The girls remember seeing him for the last time, leading a group of Irish men in the recitation of Rosary on Titanic's sloping deck. He lost his life in the disaster, his body was never recovered.


His actions to save several Irish girls' lives making him appear in several popular cultures, including A Night to Remember (1958), and S.O.S. Titanic.

A Night to Remember (1958)[]

Richard Clarke as Martin Gallagher in A Night to Remember (1958)

You'll loose your teeth if you don't shut up!

—Martin Gallagher to a steward

In A Night to Remember, he was portrayed by Richard Clarke. It should be noted that Martin's portrayal here is a bit fictional, as he is shown survived the sinking.

He first appeared saying goodbye to his mother and many other church members. He then prepared to go to Queenstown to board the Titanic, with James Farrell, Mrs. Farrell, Kate Gilnagh, and Patrick Murphy. On board the Titanic, he asked Kate to dance with him, along with many other passengers.

When the Titanic sank, he and Murphy and many of the other third class passengers were playing ice football on the forward well deck. Then they went back downstairs and told Kate to put on her cardigan and life jacket. The group, plus the Polish Girl and Polish Mother, prepared to go up onto the boat deck, but several times they were blocked by several stewards. Until they finally found access through the second class, they were also blocked by a steward, saying that third class passengers should not be in the second class area.

"You'll loose your teeth if you don't shut up!"

Martin threatens the steward; "You loose your teeth if you don't shut up!", Makes the steward to go away. They met Charles Joughin who was drunk, Murphy asked him which is the way to the boat deck. However, Joughin did not answer clearly and instead confused them. The group moved forward, arriving at the First Class Dining Saloon, where they paused for a moment. They finally reached the boat deck through the second class entrance, and escorted Kate, Mrs. Farrell, Polish Girl, and Polish Mother head for Lifeboat 16.

"This one back here are dead, sir!"

As the Titanic began to sink rapidly, he, Murphy and James Farrell rushed to the stern, where they recited the Lord's prayer with many of the other passengers. When Titanic was completely gone, he and Muprhy managed to climb onto the upturned Collapsible B, while James Farrell was lost. He supported a man who turned out to be died, so he reported it to 2nd Officer Lightoller, where he told him to lower the man's body into the water. Martin and Murphy are finally rescued in Lifeboat 12 and are reunited with the group, praying for the victims of the sinking of the Titanic on board the RMS Carpathia.

S.O.S. Titanic (1979)[]

Gerald McSorley as Martin Gallagher in S.O.S. Titanic

It'll seem small enough when we're a thousand miles from land and nothing but the great ocean all around.

—Martin Gallagher talking about the Titanic to Daniel Buckley

In S.O.S. Titanic, he was portrayed by Gerard McSorley. While on board the Titanic, he met a beautiful Irish girl, nicknamed as "Irish Beauty" (loosely based on Margaret Mannion). He asked her to dance and fell in love with her. When Titanic sank, he and many of his acquaintances including James Farrell, Daniel Buckley, David Charters, Kate Gilnagh, Kate Mullins, Bridget Bradley and Mary Agatha Glynn along with several other third class passengers rushed to the boat deck.

Martin Gallagher with Irish Beauty in the First Class Dining Saloon

Where they broke a gate and got lost in the First Class Dining Saloon, they were stopped by Master at-arms Thomas King, because he thought that they were going to steal something. Several men, including Martin, dismissed the allegations and said they were only try to looking the way to the boat deck. Finally, King only allowed the women to go up onto the boat deck. Martin parted ways with Irish Beauty while she finally made it to Collapsible D.

When the Titanic began to sink rapidly, he, Farrell and many other men prayed with Father Thomas Byles, wherein Martin was last seen being swept away by a wave of water and dies.